It’s My Birthday! Let’s Build a School and Change Lives

Today, I turn 29 and enter the final year of my youth.

Jason Fitzgerald


OK, I’m being dramatic: slowly losing my athleticism, hair, and boyish good looks doesn’t scare me. Really, it doesn’t.

But seriously, I think this is going to be my best year yet. And maybe for you too: today, I’m giving away a premium PR Race Plan that normally sell for $167.

Before we talk about the free training plan, I want to ask for a small favor on my birthday.

Will you help build a school in Guatemala and give hundreds of kids access to education?

The $25 Challenge

Joel Runyon is raising $20,000 for Pencils of Promise to build a school in Guatemala. Their goal is to build sustainable, long-term schools with a focus on partnerships within the community.

Here we are, worrying about what running shoes to wear or how to fuel before a long run. Meanwhile, we can easily help hundreds of kids who are worrying about not being able to read. Personally, that’s unacceptable.

Today, I ask that you donate $25 to Pencils of Promise. If 400 Strength Running readers give $25 (or the cost of a measly 5k race entry!), then the goal is reached and a school will be built for hundreds of kids who need education.

Think about how this will impact the world:

  • 800 students learn to read
  • teachers are trained
  • the community is strengthened
  • a school is built that will change lives for years

Better than an over-priced 5k entry, huh?

How to Donate (and win your training plan)

Let’s make this easy. Simply click here to visit the donation page on Pencils of Promise. Donate your $25 (or $250 – totally up to you 🙂 ) and you’re done with your daily act of generosity.

To enter the custom training plan giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post saying why you donated. We’re using the Honor Code here, so be cool.
  • Enter by 11:59pm on Monday, 11/5/2012. You only have 4 days, so don’t wait.
  • Extra Credit: spread the word via Facebook, your running club, or carrier pigeon.
  • I’ll announce the winner to my email list on Tuesday.

A reminder about the premium PR Race Plan: this is a custom-built, 100% personalized training plan to help you run faster and train smarter. Some use it for injury recovery, others use it for a specific race goal. Since it’s totally personalized, it’s up to you.

In addition to the full training plan for your particular goal, you get the Strength Running FAQ Guide (the most common running questions I receive), and a 30 minute jump start call on Skype.  I’ll answer your questions, explain your workouts, or simply chat about nerdy running topics.

Giddy up!

The Real Reason to Do This

Besides the chance to win a training plan, you have the chance to dramatically change the lives of little kids who have almost no future without education. One small act – by you, today – makes an enormous difference.

Will you step up and make the impossible happen? Click here to donate $25 and help build a school.

Thank you for celebrating my birthday by doing some good in the world today. It’s an honor writing SR and your participation here means everything to me.

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  1. Steve Wilson says:

    Donated $25 for some good Karma. I have gotten great information from your site. I agree with the direction of Pencils of Promise. It is just nice to give back. Thanks for posting about it and Happy Birthday!!

    I’ll be adding it to my Facebook, quick like a bunny.

  2. Donated because yes to this:

    “Here we are, worrying about what running shoes to wear or how to fuel before a long run. Meanwhile, we can easily help hundreds of kids who are worrying about not being able to read. Personally, that’s unacceptable.”

    Also I really appreciate what you do with this site. Thank you and happy birthday!

    PS Not a Facebooker but will post links from my Tumblr blog.

  3. I donated because it seems like a great cause and a nice thing to do to give back and as a thank you to you for some posts of yours I have appreciated. Increase happiness, kindness and health-that’s my focus. Thanks!

  4. Joe Gaiteri says:

    Donated because I spend more than that on meals at restaurants, and kids being able to read is more important than me getting sushi or beer or whatever. I should be eating at home more often anyway.

    And happy birthday! Today’s my birthday, too – I’m now 28. Late 20s represent!

    P.S. The PR plan you wrote me for the upcoming Outer Bank Marathon has been super. Thanks!

  5. I haven’t donated yet but want to wish you a happy birthday, it is also my birthday! I will donate soon!

  6. You are awesome.

    Thanks for the support Jason!

  7. I just donated $25 on an annually recurring basis, mainly because of the jack-ass that recommended that Jason move to Guatemala, rather than help a worthy cause.

    As an American ex-pat living in Costa Rica, I see the “ugly American” stereotype brandished about every once in a while. Jerks like that only add fuel to the fire.

    Proud and happy to donate, and also look forward to building a free house in December with Un Techo Para Mi Pais (A Roof for My Country) which is a Costa Rican version of Habitat for Humanity, roughly speaking.

  8. Happy BD Jason! Just made my $25 donation. Sounds like a very worthy cause.

    Also in honor of your BD just gave away some of our own home-grown just-picked fresh apples and free-range brown eggs from our happy chickens to people who needed them.

    Always appreciate how much help and info you have given away for free aside from the wonderful plans you sell (I have your half-marathon plan, looking forward to Portland Rock ‘n Roll in April 2013, my first).

  9. Oh, and I did put the link on my FB. Sorry, forgot to put that in my first post.

  10. Thanks for making us aware of this worthwhile cause; we made our donation tonight. I have three boys who are fortunate to go to private school. As blessed as we are, we try to remember those less fortunate and give back. My wife was a high school English teacher prior to starting our family and we both understand the value of education.

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. (Or the George Carlin version… “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. “)

  11. I’ve been following Joel’s blog for a while and this sounds like a great cause. Donated $50.
    Happy birthday!

  12. What a fantastic cause. Happy to help!

  13. I’m a runner and a fundraiser so had to donate. Great simple idea and very generous of yourself. Good luck.

  14. I donated $26.20 b/c that seemed like the nerdy runner thing to do, and b/c I want kids everywhere to have the educational opportunities my 6yo son has.

  15. Rebecca Richardson says:

    I donated because having lived in South America as a child I remember how little these people have and how much more they need to even just have the basics in life. Helping them have the opportunity to a better education is a ticket to a better life.

  16. Just donated. My reasons are two. 1, I fully appreciate the education I have received in my lifetime and believe everyone, everywhere, should have the opportunity to learn no matter what the circumstances. It is how change starts. 2, I have been following Joel’s site for awhile now and am always inspired by everything he comes up with accomplishing. Between Joel and my friend Patrick Hitches’, My Foundation Fitness, health sustainable eating education I have regained my confidence in testing my own personal limits. I grew up as a competitive swimmer and have been a coach for the past 15yrs. In the past couple years I have transferred over to the triathlon circuit. I love it. Yet I know nothing about running. My own IMPOSSIBLE journey has started with a few olympic distance tri’s with little training. I want to see what I can do still. (I’m in the middle of my 29th year and it has been an amazing ride thus far, happy birthday and live it up) I have signed up and will be completing the American Triple T over a weekend next May 2013 outside of Portsmouth, Ohio. Despite my furthest run ever to be around 9 miles (couple weeks ago on a whim just to see how far I could go) I will be doing a sprint tri on Fri, two Olympic Tri’s on Sat, and a half Ironman on Sunday. Finding your site through Joel’s email has been a huge help and a wealth of information for a novice runner. You have joined in my list of inspiration websites I use to keep focused and return to the person I know and want to be. I donated because I want to be a part of this inspirational community I have come to love where everyone enjoys giving back to others. Thank you.